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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  October 19, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. this sunday morning, a new sense of urgency in/5e presidential race. on one side, hillary &0ñclinton strong debate performance ups the pressure on joe biden and whether he gets in. on the other, trump and carson are sitting on top, but is ted cruz about to have his moment? >> if you're looking far candidate who the career politicians in washington will embrace, i'm not your guy. >> my sit-down with the senator from texas. also, showdown over benghazi. hillary clinton prepares to testify befor??p benghazi committee. but has the committee been discredited even before the hearing starts.
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plus, did donald trump just blue jay george w. bush for 9/11? >> blame him or don't blame him but:mx he was president. >> or is jeb bush desperately looking to pick a fight with trump? finally, the bernie sanders impersonation we've all been waiting for. >> hello, hello, hello, enough with the hellos, let's do this. joining me to provide insight and analysis are the nation"national journal's" ron fournier, nbc mitchell of nbc news, amy walter of the cook political report and republican strategist alex castellanos. welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press." good sunday morning. if you get the feeling that there's a new sense of urgency in this presidential campaign, well, you're right. on the democratic side, hillary clinton's strong performance in the las vegas debate on tuesday has led to calls for the vice president to say thumbs up or thumbs down now.
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on the republican side, rand paul and chris christie are proving they may be pretenders. jeb bush and marco rubio are both struggling and pointing the finger at the other and a number of other candidates soon may not even be able to pay their bills. so if you don't think the leaders -- donald trump and ben carson -- are in this for the long haul, then the conservative you may want to look at is our next guest. ted cruz was the only other candidate in double digits in this week's fox news poll and he looks like the candidate most likely to pick up trump and carson supporters if -- and that's a big if -- they do eventually stray. plus, cruz is raising lots of money, not spending much, and he has men aplenty of cash on hand. i caught up with him in new hampshire and asked him how he plans to eventually pick off the trump and carson voters. >> i think donald trump's campaign has been immensely beneficial for our campaign. and the reason is he's framed the central issue of this republican primary as who will stand up to washington.
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well, the natural follow-up if that's the question is who actually has stood up to washington. who has stood up to both democrats and to leaders in their open party. >> you think that distinguishes you from donald trump and ben carson? >> and from everyone else on that stage. i think my record is markedly different in terms of actually standing up and taking on the washington cartel. and that's why we're seeing, particularly as voters get more and more educated, study the candidate, listen to the candidates in person, i think that's why we're seeing the grass-roots momentum that we're seeing. >> if you were sitting there staying that you could stop obamacare if you just did what you did and shut down the government and that republicans could stop the iran deal, the fact is, you couldn't. the numbers weren't on your side. there's a democratic president. so did you overpromise? i understand you're saying others, but didn't you? >> look, when it comes to promising, what i promised is that i would fight with every breath in my body to stop the out-of-control spending, the debt that is bankrupting our country, stop obamacare, to protect our nation and all of those are promises that i have
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honored every single day in the senate. and you know, it's amazing, so i was visiting with a colleague recently who was making that pitch about, well, gosh, the problem is expectations, we need to define expectations. >> correct. a bunch of republicans have been saying this and they blame you. >> it's complete nonsense. you know who the people promising are? it's republican leadership when they campaign. why do you think john boehner is stepping down? he's stepping down because the american people are furious with republican leaders that don't do what they promised. and it's interesting, i do town halls all over the country and i asked folks, okay, we have republican majorities in both houses for ten months now. what on earth are they accomplished? every town hall you do the answer is always "absolutely nothing." and usually i respond and say, you know what? it's worse than, that it could have been better if it were nothing. in fact, what the republican majorities have done, we came back right after the last election, passed a trillion dollar bill filled with corporate welfare then republican leadership and
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leadership joined with harry reid and the democrats to do that. then leadership voted to fund obamacare. then they voted to fund amnesty. then they voted to fund planned parenthood and then republican leadership took the lead confirming loretta lynch as attorney general. chuck, which one of those decisions is one iota different than what would have happened under harry reid and the democrats? the truth of the matter is republican leadership are the most effective democrat leaders we've ever seen. they've passed more democratic priorities than harry reid ever could. >> so john boehner is leaving. should mitch mcconnell leave? >> look, that's a question for the republican conference to make. >> you're a member of the republican conference. >> what i have said -- >> have you called -- why don't you challenge him? why don't you call for him to step down? >> what i have said repeatedly chuck, both publicly and privately -- and when i say publicly and privately, that's the same thing -- we need leaders who will honor the promises that men and women have made to us. >> if you're glad john boehner
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is leaving, how come you don't call out mitch mcconnell? >> listen, at the end of the day -- >> he is your leader. >> at the end of the day it depends on where the votes are in the conference. mitch has the votes to remain as majority leader. >> i'm going to read you quotes from your fellow republicans. senator lamar alexander said this about you. "in kindergarten you learn to work well together and play by the rules. another thing you learn in kindergarten is to respect one another." senator orrin hatch "squabbling and sanctimony have no place among colleagues in the u.s. senate." john mccain, "i would never contemplate going to the floor of the senate impugning the integrity of another senator. just not what we do here." and, of course, speaker boehner called you a false prophet and another word i won't say on sunday morning television. how do you lead a republican party when orrin hatch, lamar alexander, john mccain, john boehner, these are
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well-respected men, think this lowly of you. >> listen, if you're looking for a candidate who the career politicians in washington will embrace, i'm not your guy. washington's broken. people are frustrated out of their minds. every one in the republican primary is standing up saying "vote for me because i will stand up and fight washington." two weeks ago we had an epic knock down drag out fight on exactly this. millions of conservatives rose up, said "defund planned parenthood." i was proud to lead that fight. and where were the other candidates? it was like they were in the witness protection plan. can you imagine how different that fight would have played out if all 11 republican presidential candidates has descended on washington and said in one voice "mitch mcconnell and john boehner, don't send $500 million of taxpayer funds to planned parenthood." >> you know, there's another way to look at this, senator cruz, which is you stood up on obamacare, you stood up on planned parenthood, you stood up
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on immigration and nobody followed you. >> well, that's not true. >> i'm saying nobody in washington follows you. if you get elected president, you have to get somebody to follow your lead in washington, whether you like it or not. >> listen, at the end of the day, it's not about read leadership. and by the way, in each of those fights, every time we've had a battle between me and leadership with the republican caucus, about half of the caucus has been with me, about half of the caucus has been with leadership. at the end of the day, if you're looking for someone who's running to be a member of the club, that's not me. it's interesting, you were reading all the attacks. i mentioned my book, my book i quote all of the nasty things republicans have said about me. and you know in response to that i don't reciprocate, much of the annoyance of many in the media who want me to attack donald trump or john boehner or mitch mcconnell. >> you called mitch mcconnell a
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liar. that's a tough thing to say on the senate floor. >> let's be clear what i said. i stood up and said mitch mcconnell made the following promise directly to me looking me in the eye to every republican senator and did it publicly and a month later his behavior was exactly 180 degrees to the opposite. this is how broken washington is. listen, the fact that he told a falsehood is a matter of public record. he stated it publicly, then he behaved exactly the opposite. and washington is so broken that they treat someone saying the republican leader just did exactly the opposite of what he promised he would do that apparently the troublemaker is the person saying it rather than the person telling the lie. that's what's broken about washington. when i tell you i'm going to do something, chuck, i'm going to do exactly what i said i'm going to do. >> i want to say two more things. paul ryan, a true conservative? >> listen, i like paul ryan, he's a friend of mine. this is obviously a question that is wrapped up in the speaker of the house deliberations.
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i have said consistently i'll stay out of that. >> but is he a true conservative? >> that's a decision for the house republicans to make. >> mark levin, who you joked and said i want mark levin as a speaker. >> he's definitely a true conservative. >> so you'll say that but you won't say -- he doesn't think paul ryan is. he doesn't like his stance on the debt limit and tarp. >> i have said consistently throughout that the question of house leadership the question of house republican conference. >> i want to move to foreign policy, afghanistan decision by the president. in favor of it? >> well, listen, it's a recognition that what the president has been saying for years, that al qaeda is decimated, was never true. that it was political spin. the reality is we live in an incredibly dangerous world and sadly the failures of the obama/clinton foreign policy have made the dangers great. >> if you become president you'll keep this policy in place of keeping those troops in afghanistan? >> it will depend on the
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mission. i don't believe we should be engaged in nation building. i don't believe we should be trying to transform foreign countries into democratic utopias, trying to turn iraq into switzerland. but i do think it is the job of our military to protect this country. to hunt down and kill jihadists who would murder us. >> syria. priority, assad out of power or isis? >> isis, isis, isis. >> so basically table the assad discussion? >> look, we have no business sticking our nose in that civil war. and there are a lot of politicians, including hillary clinton on the left and including quite a few of the republicans running for president on the right, who want us to get into the middle of that civil war. >> so you're no on the no-fly zones, none of that stuff? stick to just isis? would you work with the russians? if they are helping with isis, would you help? >> of course we shouldn't partner with the russians. look, this is a great example of the utter failure of the obama/clinton foreign policy. this void in power has let putin step in there.
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there are a couple hundred cubans right now a major cuban general fighting in the syrian civil war. you've got iran, you've got general suleimanny in bed with the russians so you now have russia, cuba and iran all arm in arm and anyone who believes russia is fighting against terrorism, i've got to a bridge to sell them. >> they're propping up assad but you said you're okay with that. >> i don't think we should prop up assad, either. but here's the problem. you have people who view foreign policy -- you look at some of the republican, for example, who supported hillary clinton's disastrous libya policy. toppling qaddafi? qaddafi was a bad guy but you know what? libya is an absolute chaos and war zone where jihadists are battling back and forth and here's, chuck, the way we should answer -- >> would the middle east be more stable today if you had the strong men? >> of course it would. of course it would. >> qaddafi, saddam, assad? if they're strong men, they keep stability? >> it wasn't even close that
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libya under qaddafi was better for u.s. interests than the chaos now than that is allowing jihadist to gain strength. >> what about iraq under saddam? >> it wasn't even close. >> do you think iraq would be more stable today under a strongman like saddam? >> based on what we know now should we have gone into iraq? of course not. it was based on the belief they had weapons of mass destruction that they would use against us. >> you are a believer in using the debt limit for leverage. what do you want republican leadership to do with the debt limit? >> what i'd like to see on the democrat limit is republican leaders fight for something. for pete's sakes, anything. are there a lot of reports right now that john boehner before he steps down as speaker intends to cut a deal with nancy pelosi to raise the debt ceiling and to fund all of obama's agenda. >> and what would what will you? >> for the next year and a half he's got the votes. >> isn't that how democracy works? he's got the votes? i mean, this is how it works. >> you're right. and if he does it he will be the most effective democratic leader
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in modern times. >> there's a lot more to my interview with ted cruz. you can see the complete interview on our web site, "meet the press" nbc.com. coming up, not one but two republicans have said the benghazi committee hearing was inspired to hurt hillary hey, you forgot the milk! that's lactaid. right. 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can drink all you want... ...with no discomfort? exactly. here, try some... mmm, it is real milk. see? delicious. hoof bump! oh. right here girl, boom lactaid®. 100% real milk. no discomfort and for a creamy and delicious treat, try lactaid® ice cream
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we are back. however much hillary clinton may have helped herself at tuesday's debate, the main event this
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month will be her appearance on capitol hill before the house benghazi committee this thursday. both sides are attempting to work the refs ahead of time. here's part of an online video the clinton campaign released in an attempt to discredit the committee. >> and here's an excerpt of a highly controversy anti-clinton ad that ran during the first democratic presidential debate. >> dear hillary clinton, i'd like to ask you why you ignored calls for help in business and then four americans were murdered. but, mrs. clinton, i can't. what difference does it make? >> we're going to hear from both sides of the aisle in just a moment on what likely will be the most important day of hillary clinton's campaign so far. here's a little healthy advice. take care of what makes you, you.
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welcome back. with the possible exception of the debates, no moment of the campaign has been more highly anticipated than this thursday when hillary clinton testifies before the house select benghazi committee. and make no mistake -- one way or the other this is about the campaign.
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republicans say they want to get to the bottom of the attacks in benghazi in 2012 on that september 11th day when four americans were killed. democrats say the committee is a partisan effort designed to discredit clinton by focusing just on her e-mails. either way, it could be a turning point in the race for 2016. >> i will do my best to answer their questions, but i don't really foe what their objective is right now. >> hillary clinton is trading one stage for another. >> any reaction to the benghazi ads? >> not since president gerald ford defended his pardon of richard nixon -- >> the purpose was to change our national focus. >> -- has an active presidential candidate had so much on the line in an appearance before congress. but clinton can now quote house republicans when she tries to argue that questions about her handling of the 2012 benghazi attack that left four americans dead are now nothing more than a political witch-hunt. >> this whole effort was set up for political partisan purposes.
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we now know to politically in a partisan way go after me. basically an arm of the republican national committee. a partisan arm of the republican national committee. >> it was house majority leader kevin mccarthy who gave clinton her first assist last month. >> everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, a select committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. >> this week an assist from another republican lawmaker. >> this may not be politically correct, but i think there is a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, hillary clinton. >> the committee's republican chairman trey gowdy tried to clean up this mess with a 279-word statement saying that "commentators and sometimes even members of your own conference offer thoughts on matters on which they are not familiar." >> if they don't focus on the words that people who are not on the committee use, focus on the actions of those of us who have
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been on the committee. >> on top of all that, a former republican committee staffer, air force reserve major bradley politska is adding fuel to the fire, claiming he was fired after the octoberive turned to hillary clinton. >> i was trying to conduct a thorough non-partisan investigation. >> a statement from the committee says those are false and he was terminated for cause. now the committee, which house speaker john boehner never wanted -- >> i see no reason to break up the work that's been done and take months and months and months to create some select committee. >> -- but agreed to under duress to pacify conservatives is itself under scrutiny. i'm joined now by two members of the committee, republican mike pompeo of kansas, republican and democrat adam schiff. congressman pompeo, this has been a tough ten days for the
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credibility of your committee thanks to the mccarthy statements and hanna statements. do you feel as if the committee's credibility is under investigation? >> chuck, this isn't about the committee, this is about the american people. we've been working since may of 2014 to get them the answers. there are four americans that were killed. our first ambassador murdered since 1979. we're going to -- this week we'll speak with former secretary clinton, we've conducted dozens and dozens of interviews. we will ask her the same kind of fact-centric questions we've asked other witnesses. we have an obligation to hold folks accountable and make sure we reduce the risk that something like this could ever possibly happen again. >> one of the questions i have is what's taking so long? i say this because the benghazi committee is longer than watergate, longer than iran-contra, other events. i think we have a whole thing on screen here about how many different select committees took less time, including the warren commission. why is this taking so long? >> you mentioned watergate. mr. schiff actually compared this committee to watergate in a "new york times" op-ed. but this is worse in some ways. right?
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secretary clinton tried to hide every one of her e-mails, she destroyed 30,000 of them, and now we have an fbi investigation of those very e-mails. what's taken us so long is that the democrats on the committee and this administration have played hide the ball and have denied us records the american people deserve and that our committee needs to complete our investigation. we would have been happy to move more quickly, but we've met with obstruction all along the way. >> before i get to congressman schiff, one more question for you. you talk about all the different witnesses you've called. why haven't you called the following witnesses: general carter hamm, samantha power in the white house now and an ambassador to the u.n. you could have called her. the former cia director at the time, general petraeus, he hasn't been called. former defense secretary leon panetta wasn't called. why haven't these people been called before your committee if this is about benghazi? they were all there at the time. >> chuck, we're not done. you may think this investigation ends on thursday, but let me assure you that it does not. we began in may and we are going to continue. this on thursday is just one more step along the way. we may well call many of the
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folks that you identified there. we still have many witness, many documents that we haven't seen. as recently as last thursday we received christopher steven's e-mails. how on earth could other committees have worked effectively when they didn't even have those e-mails? we don't have them. no thanks to the democrats on the committee who opposed us all along the way. >> congressman schiff, when you joined the committee you said you were willing to look at this in the big picture. you have accused the republicans of not take it seriously. it's in your power. if you don't think they're taking it seriously, why haven't you come up with a witness list? why haven't you decided, you know what, i don't like what they're doing? if you think the investigation needs to go in a more serious direction, you can do it, and you haven't done it. >> chuck, i have and i've tried. in fact, the first two hearings this committee had were hearings i proposed to look at the arb recommendations and how they're implemented. i requested ways we could speed up document production which were rejected. we requested witnesses to come before the committee and you know what they did?
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they interviewed these witnesses without telling us because when they did interview the witnesses they didn't corroborate the republican conspiracy theories. the reasons, to answer your question, chuck, about why we haven't brought in the defense secretary as they said they would, why we haven't brought in the cia director or any of these witnesses for a hearing is because they're not running for president. when richard hanna -- >> couldn't you have asked for this? don't you have power? >> we could ask for it. no, we don't. we don't. >> and you can't bring these people in? you can't invite them yourself? >> we can't set up a hearing, we can't issue a subpoena. we can't even vote on a subpoena. chuck, we asked the republicans at the beginning, let's establish rules for the committee. let's establish rules so we can vote on subpoenas. you can have the majority vote, whatever. they wouldn't even establish rules. why? they want to run this the way they want it. they want to be able to go after secretary clinton. >> but hang on, isn't -- aren't they justified in the fact that if it wasn't for the benghazi committee we would haven't known about this private server. we would haven't known about these e-mails, and it does look like somebody is at least trying to make it harder to get information. isn't that the point?
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>> no, the point is what do we know about benghazi that we didn't know when this investigation started? what can we tell the families? what can we tell the american people about these core conspiracy allegations, that there was a standdown order or that there was a gun running or that the secretary interfered with security and the fact is, chuck, after 17 months, $4.5 million, we have nothing new to tell the families. apart from that there was a private e-mail server. that doesn't tell us anything about benghazi. and let me say this, too, when richard hanna talks about what the republican conference views this investigation, he can speak to the view of the conference, but when kevin mccarthy, who's part of the leadership, talks about the motivation to go after clinton, he is part of the leadership, he is in the room when the committee is formed. and finally, it's not just what these people outside the committee are saying. but when a republican whistle-blower is saying this is how they're executing the strategy to go after clinton and we see that execution when these hearings you mentioned with the defense secretary, when the cia
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director, with samantha powers, they're all canceled, when the only hearing we have is with secretary clinton, it shows the committee is doing exactly what these republicans are saying. >> i'm sorry. you wanted to chime in, go ahead and then ron fournier wants to ask a question. >> facts matter. what mr. schiff said is false. the democrats haven't asked for a single witness. i've ask him to name the witness that he wrote us a letter and ask for that witness. not a single interview has been conducted without democrats or democrat staff participating. >> that's just not true, mike. that's just not true. >> the fbi will sort out the server. we'll see if she violated the espionage act. our task is to solve the riddle of the four americans killed. >> ron. >> congressman pompeo, your party promised to run a non-partisan non-witch-hunt campaign. that's been proven to be false. congressman schiff, your party candidate promised us what she did with her e-mails was above board and didn't jeopardize or potentially compromise u.s. secrets. we know that is false. what is either party going to try to do to restore some
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modicum of credibility to a system that should be based on trust? both of you have been lying to us. >> with reality to the committee, it's too late. there's too much water under the bridge. >> no, in respect to secretary clinton and in your party when are you need to stop pretending what she did was above board and when are you going to stop pretending she didn't -- >> the secretary has been the first to admit the use of a private server was a mistake. >> she says it was above board, though, she said it was above board. you think it's violated policy? >> that is the job of the republican national committee to go after her and the democratic party committee, they can go after jeb bush for his use of a personal server. that's not our job. >> you think her e-mail server violated federal policy? yes or no? >> i think what she did was lawful at the time and a mistake. >> was it against federal rules. it clearly was to anybody reading the rules. was it to you? >> the rules allowed her to use a private server as long as she preserved her e-mails, which she did. was it desirable? no. it wasn't. i think she's recognized that. >> what about the witch-hunt? you promised it would not be a
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partisan committee, but your party is admitting it was partisan. >> i couldn't disagree with you more. i think folks will see that on thursday, and i think they'll see in the the final report as well. they'll see chairman gowdy and our committee has run a fact-centric effort to do the mission, to hold someone accountable for what happened -- >> congressman, how long for this final report? is it going to be in the middle of 2016? is it going to be after the election? >> that's a great question, andrea. maybe mr. schiff can answer that for you. we'll complete our task -- >> let me just follow up -- >> the reason there's no question is that we don't know what we're looking for. we can't put an end date on it because we don't know what this committee is supposed to look for. apart from damaging hillary clinton, it has no reason for existence. >> if the reason for existence is to find out did hillary clinton -- did hillary clinton make a grievous error in not following up security complaints, how could she tell the various investigating committees that that was below her, that it never reached her level? that could be a legitimate reason. but why, then, do you call sid blumenthal and houma abedin and all of these other personal
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aides and non-aides? why have you focused so much on e-mails and not on the central question of why was the security failure at that consulate? >> well, we have focused on the central failure. we have focused on the security issues, and you'll see lots of questions about that on thursday. let me speak to mr. blumenthal. it goes directly to the security issue. we see now the former secretary relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her intelligence. she was relying -- >> that is factually not correct. >> that is correct. >> relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her intelligence? >> ms. mitchell, look at the e-mails trails. you will see. >> i cover the state department. that is factually not correct. i'm as tough on this issue as anyone. >> alex, quickly. >> since this is about benghazi and four lives that were lost under hillary clinton's watch, what should she have done to prevent the loss of those four lives? what should she have done before and when they actually were threatened? should she have done more? >> let me talk to before.
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the arb from tanzania made it very clear that the secretary of state was supposed to personally review security at high-threat areas. that is not hand it down to a deputy or an undersecretary or anyone else. that arb in the late 1990s said the secretary of state, himself or herself, was supposed to take responsibility and personally review those security plans. it appears she did not do that. so if you ask what could she have done, that would be a good start. >> we knew that a year or two ago. >> look at the arb on benghazi, not the one that took place 20 years ago. the arb on benghazi, a non-partisan investigation, decided that the chain of command in terms of security at the embassies and consular facilities did not rise to the secretary of state. that the secretary of state was not involved in the micromanagement of security. >> shouldn't she have been? why wasn't she? >> i don't know that we want the secretary of state making security decisions at particular facilities around the world. that's a big job, secretary of state, and i don't know that we want her micromanaging security. >> if the secretary of state is not responsible for the security
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of the facility, what is it that they do? >> they are responsible overall and the secretary of state has said she is responsible overall. but let me address the blumenthal allegations because -- >> are you going to ask why she didn't call for help that night? >> this is very important. the way this committee has operated is by leak of damaging information with only one objective and that is all the leaks have a common denominator. all of the leaks are designed to hurt secretary clinton. they generate a news story as recently as the one about mr. blumenthal and then within the last 24 to 48 hours the cia informs us that, not withstanding the chairman's 13-page letter alleging a damaging leak of a cia source, the cia has now informed us there was nothing classified in this last. >> you want to name that source this morning on the air? would you like to name that source? >> the cia said that source's name is not classified. >> put the name on national tv. >> i'm going to pause it there. congressman pompeo, you said you will run for speaker if paul ryan does not. ted williams wouldn't call paul
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ryan a true serve. will you? >> absolutely. >> if he runs you'll support him? >> that is correct. >> congressman pompeo, congressman schiff, you guys will become more famous to the american public on thursday. we will look forward to what i guess will be a spirited day. back in a moment, does joe biden need to get in now or does she are more time to wait. and later, was that bernie sanders or larry david on snl last night. >> how are you? >> i'm good. [ laughter ] i'm hungry, but i'm good. and now, if you don't mind, i'm gonna dial it right up to a 10.
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welcome back, it's nerdscreen time and we decided to do a little something different with nerdscreen. no data. we wanted to not just tell you how different the two parties are, we wanted to show you how different they are by looking at the first two debates and putting together a couple of word clouds. this is the first republican debate. look at the most-mentioned items and issues. president obama, hillary clinton, the dominant personalities but look at the issues -- iran, isis, mentioned more than 20 times during that debate. immigration, the border a combined 46 times at the debate. you see other stuff, taxes got a lot of mention there. a little bit on small business, iraq a tiny bit. but those were the main issues. even planned parenthood.
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but this is what the republican debate was about. a lot of foreign policy, a lot about obama and clinton. now let's take a look at the democrats. a much different story. the dominant, guns. the dominant issue. then wall street, president obama being spoken about in glowing terms, syria being the foreign policy issue that got the most talk. iran barely got mentioned, immigration just a little bit. but, wow, what a difference between the two parties when you look at this. the democrats much more of a domestic focus, guns, and wall street. the republicans a lot more of an international focus combined with immigration and here's why. guess what? they're talking to primary voters right now, not to each other. coming up, the race for the white house. does joe biden have to get in soon or has he really been running for president all a we take away your stuffy nose. you keep the peace. we calm your congestion and pain.
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welcome back. the conventional wisdom is that hillary clinton's strong debate performance tuesday night blocked vice president joe biden from getting in the race. let's also keep in mind that that so-called conventional wisdom has been a lot more conventional and not so wise this campaign season. enter gabe sherman of new york magazine that writes "in we alty, joe biden is choosing what kind of campaign to run, an active one in which he pgs positions himself as a clinton alternative or a passive one that presents him as an alternative to bernie sanders or
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any of the other candidates." let's bring in the panel. alex castellanos, are you with jeb, not with jeb? >> i'm like the hard rock cafe, love all serve all. >> my good friend andrea mitchell of nbc news. amy, let me start with you. joe biden believes he's got more time. does he? >> joe biden has a couple of things working against him, the most important are filing deadlines and the bottom line is he can wait as long as he would like to but the states aren't going to wait for him. but the end of december, 1 15 states have their deadlines closed. by the end of january, 30 state, half the delegates, are off of the table. that doesn't change. can you run a passive aggressive campaign for president? which i don't think you can. and he believes, i think, the theory is that he wants knob the race but he doesn't want to do what he needs to do to win whiches to say this "hillary clinton, i like you, democrats like you but you can't win a
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general election, you have too much baggage, go with me." he won't say that. >> alex? >> i think hillary clinton has some serious problems not in a democratic primary. they love her, right? and there's very little room there. but in a general election she's got trouble. the republican side is a dumpster fire right now, right? and most of those republicans still beat hillary clinton when joe biden runs ahead of those republicans. >> that's right. >> joe biden doesn't have hillary's authenticity problems and hillary's on the wrong end of an fbi investigation. those are serious things. somebody ought to get in there in case it collapses. >> in case of emergency -- >> pull this gourd. >> i'm go w gabe sherman and the passive aggressive argument right now. the minute he declares, he has to start spending $43,000 an hour on air force two just to go to iowa. one of the arguments is you're going to lose iowa anyway, to bernie, let's say. you could lose new hampshire to bernie or hillary, why don't you
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wait till south carolina? that's what his south carolina supporters aring. that's december 4 filing deadline. so wait, don't spend the big bucks because you have all this apparatus around you. and you've got time. you've got name recognition and what we know is that he personally authorized that memo. >> let me read that memo. >> that came from joe biden's -- >> >> it is red by the former senator long time aide to joe biden but why don't you view this as joe biden writing. >> it and he did. >> "if he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle-class to get ahead. if he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you yesterday." political structure. i've thought that is his potential great strength. i've been here forever, i know how to work across the aisle. >> the problem for biden, though, is the scenario you're laying out, amy, doesn't hold p up. it's hard to make the argument
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she couldn't win the presidency. and given the show on your side it's hard to say she couldn't win the presidency. >> i think he called it a dumpster fire. >> i was going to call it something else. you don't have to be a sitting vice president, you don't have to be in the race to be the rip cord candidate. so i've thought number one biden has been trying to talk himself into the race from the beginning. number two, it's not the debate he was waiting for, it's not benghazi hearing he's been waiting for, it's not filing deadlines because a party can change filing deadlines. it's the fbi. now, the problem for is he's waiting for, i think, an fbi investigation and for all we know it will turn up nothing. for all we know won't turn up anything until it's too late, might not turn up anything ever. and i think that's the problem is unless something really changes for hillary clinton, she's certainly going to win the nomination, pretty certainly, and it's hard to argue she couldn't win -- >> unless he puts up the polls. if we do the head-to-head polls and look at the numbers joe biden versus the candidates, i realize it's early -- >> backup quarterbacks on bad football teams are always really
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positive. >> joe biden with his strong record on women's issues, the violence against women, take the anita hill hearing out of. >> it hard to do that. >> his incredible support for those of with us breast cancer and all of the other things he and dr. jill biden have done, he doesn't want to be blamed as the person who stopped the first credible woman from getting to the white house. >> but the first credible woman may stop herself from -- >> that's another issue. >> and here's joe biden's story. loyal to the first black president of the united states for eight tough years, can energize the democratic base in a way hillary can't. authentic middle-class guy, can appeal to reagan democrats. >> can't run away from the train issue, he has to embrace it. can't run away -- >> all right, let's turn to what alex called the dumpster fire. you're going to own that phrase for a while. >> uh-oh. >> donald trump put out this tweet about blaming -- i don't -- actually, did he say, is he blaming george w. bush for 9/11 or did he simply state a fact, amy walter, that george w.
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bush was president during 9/11? >> that is what he said and, of course -- >> was it an insult or not? >> of course it was. it was meant to provoke. >> and guess what -- >> another alpha dog move, i can slap these guys around. they may hit me back. >> well, you said it meant to provoke, jeb bush provoked. here's an ad they put out in time for us to play it, obviously. >> he has said publicly he watches cable news and that's one of the way he bones up on our national security. >> trump says he "always felt that i was in the military." despite never serving in the military and draft deferments during vietnam. >> there's nobody bigger or better at the military than i am. >> on from fouron fournier, why bush get fired up and show fire only when his brother is attacked? >> because it's his brother and he's a loyal guy. the interesting thing about jeb bush, you talk about strategic frame, there's strategic frame if you talk to them about how they see themselves winning the presidency and taking on trump, the first thing out of their mouth is "there's no way donald
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trump" can win the nomination." if that's your strategic frame, you're hurting because he can win the nomination. >> you better have two plans. >> your plan "a" better be how do i get rid of donald trump and carson and win the primary? >> your strategy shouldn't be to predict the apocalypse, your strategy shouldn't be the world is going to end, that carson somehow is going to collapse, that trump is somehow going to falter. you ought to have a strategy to win. ted cruz has that apocalypse strategy but so does jeb bush right now and so does rubio, so does every other republican. >> it's the passive aggressive thing, too. everybody in this race except for donald trump is being passive and waiting for somebody to collapse. rubio waiting if that are collapse of bush to come in. ted cruz, waiting for carson. waiting for trump. nobody is making the play to say "i'm the stronger candidate." >> the truth is, there's not room in this game for jeb bush and marco rubio. it will be one or the other, alex, you know that better than anyone coming from florida. and rubio has a lot of the
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qualities that jeb bush does not show on the campaign trail. he hasn't fired up yet but when you see him speak he's got that sort of aggressive and young fire and jeb bush isn't showing it. >> but they think all they have to do is beat rubio and kasich. they have to beat trump and carson, too. >> i think this is the part of this -- okay, we make a case of that report that donald trump is not showing the signs of a real campaign. but alex, ben carson -- >> that's a tough case to make. >> are they both going to falter? >> i don't see how. ben carson has kind of a moral candidacy. even when you think he can't win voters support him because he's going to make the country better, he's got money, he's got lots of money and you have -- if you're a voter you have a purpose with your vote for ben carson all the way through. i think he blocks ted cruz. >> the similarity is i interviewed ben carson and he talked about the holocaust. historically inaccurate. i mean, beyond inaccurate. yet it doesn't matter what he says, it doesn't matter what donald trump says. the people in the -- the voters, at least, or the people coming
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to these rallies don't seem to mind. >> because a lot of his voters predate the campaign. they go back to -- he's a hero in the medical community. his books -- >> and they have a personal attachment. >> right. >> they have a personal attachment. >> who else? nobody else does. >> so let's say that in iowa it's either carson or trump and the republican establishment runs to new hampshire hair on fire. who do they rally around then for the other side of the equation? right now it's a tossup. who has the strength to compete with those guys? right now who's demonstrating strength? rubio is, fiorina is, jeb bush has it in governor. we haven't seen in the the campaign. >> i'll pause it there, we'll have more of this in a few minutes. back in 45 seconds. we have the end game segment and president obama's reversal on afghanistan as america's longest war will drag on to a third presidency. hey, you forgot the milk!
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end game time. let's start with america's longest war and president obama's decision to reverse course and keep american troops in afghanistan for a 15th year. it's yet another position change on afghanistan from a president who himself said he was elected on the promise of ending both wars. >> i will end this war in iraq
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responsibly. and finish the fight against al qaeda and the taliban in afghanistan. >> i have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 troops to u.s. troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014 our lgest war will be over. i've decided to maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops in afghanistan through most of next year, 2016. >> let's bring in the panel. andrea mitchell, president obama is learning what al sander the great learned. >> nobody survives, no empire survives, look at the russians in affidavits. this is not winnable. president ghani has not even complained about the murderous attack on kunduz and has not support outside of his immediate area. he is viewed in afghanistan as an american implant. there is no leadership there,
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the taliban hasn't been pushed back, there was supposed to be negotiations with the taliban. that won't happen because we didn't even know when mullah omar died our intelligence is incredibly faulty, which probably led to the kunduz attack on the hospital and this is just a nightmare. >> by the way, we were talking earlier, joe biden is the guy who said "we probably is to partition iraq." he's the guy that said "small footprint, go counterterrorism." and everybody mocked him. he's looking more prescient than any single person including hillary clinton. >> this is one person where he can put himself close to obama. what strikes me is i believe president obama really intended to change our course in iraq and afghanistan. that was not a phony promise, just like i think he came here really thinking he was going to change the culture of washington. he didn't do either and i saw this as -- that's the last nail in the hope and change coffin. >> this is what this race is really about. george w. bush the critique was he was too aggressive, reckless
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male aggression so we pushed the pendulum to barack obama, soft power, dialogue, retreat a little bit from the world. guess what? the world seems to be coming apart at home and abroad. what do we want again? strength. who does that step in that's one of hunk's assets. she is tough. who does that help on the republican side, our bad boyfriend trump. >> what did you write today? the bad biker? >> he's the bad biker boyfriend who abuses us but we stick with him because there are scarier people out there. we need someone like that to protect us from and we don't find that strength anywhere else. >> so amy the held's angels candidate? >> i have said that he is the bad boyfriend you don't want to take home to your parent, right? you like to date him because he's saying to your parents, uh-uh, i'm not. but will you bring him home? but even on the republican side there's not a consensus about what to do, either. if there were a republican message that said "he's done it wrong, here's what we do instead" that's what democrats had going for them in the 2007
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and 2008 era which is "we won't do anything like george bush did." but you heard ted cruz, we deal a little bit of that. >> cruz v. rubio would be an interesting foreign policy deba debate. rubio, intervention, cruz, isolation. >> i was struck with your interview with cruz about how isolationist he is. >> more than people thought. >> compared to a -- the whole john mccain wing of the party. >> he's got his eyes on rand paul's voters. >> absolutely. rand paul is looking for those voters. [ laughter ] before we go, "saturday night live" came through with the impersonation we've all been waiting for for months. larry david as bernie sanders. here was last night's cold open from "saturday night live." >> what is your position on the big banks? >> eh. [ laughter ] not a fan of the banks. they trample on the middle-class, they control washington. and why do they chain all their pens to the desks? who's trying to steal a pen from a bank?
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[ laughter ] makes no sense! that's why you've got break up the banks into little pieces and then flush the pieces down the toilet so you can never put the banks back together. >> amy, what i love about it -- by the way, when you're the star of the spoof, isn't that good? doesn't that mean sanders won the debate? >> maybe that's absolutely true. are we sure that wasn't larry david at the debate and that's bernie sanders? [ laughter ] >> you know that's the soul of the democratic party. the democratic party isn't just looking if their candidate, but they found their campaign, it is you said the democrat hillary clinton i disagree. i think they lust for bernie sanders. >> they do. >> i think they will go marry and bring home to mom and dad hillary clinton. >> he has the college campuses, millenials. he doesn't have a broad enough base. >> we'll be back next week because if it's sunday it's "meet the press."
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it's monday, october 19th. right now on physician first look" the battle between donald trump and jeb bush over president bush's role in the 9/11 tragedy, a political blame game. incredible images of devastation as typhoon slams into the fill peends with 150-mile-per-hour winds and the equivalent of six feet of rain. police are still searching for a shooter who opened fire, killing one and wounding five at a florida zombie festival. the mets have the cubs against the wall as they head to wrigley. deflate gate rivals battle at indy and ed ye murphy trading places with mark twain? "first look" starts right w.